Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 10 and 11 Update

These pictures are a progression
1st- Family pic before surgery 2nd- Picture of Harrison immediately after surgery 3rd- A picture of all the pumps needed to sustain and monitor Harrison after surgery..AMAZING 4th- Harrison on day 4 post operation- A true miracle!

Week 10 and 11 I have squeezed together since the two weeks had lots of things going on in preparation for Harrison's Heart Surgery. Harrison had his heart surgery on Monday February 22, 2010. It was his 11 week birthday. Harrison was supposed to have his heart surgery on Friday Feb 19th, but due to elevated white blood cell count it was postponed. So to back up and get to where we are today, I will break events down by my usual categories.

GI/Feeding- Due to Harrison's vomiting episodes a formula change was made and they got him to full feeds, but he was having diarrhea. They decided to cut his feeds in half to see if it was a volume issue causing it. This reduced his stool output but it was still watery. At this point, GI decided to start a medicine for overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines to see if it would help. They started the medicine and within a day his stools started to firm up. He still was only at half feeds but they decided to leave him there since he was to have surgery on Friday. Even though surgery was cancelled for Friday, they kept him on half feeds since it was rescheduled for Monday.

Liver- Several liver function tests were performed since he was getting ready for surgery. On Thursday before surgery, his bilirubin was 14 and liver enzymes elevated from the previous week. They did another liver function test the morning of surgery and his bilirubin was 11. So the had gone down. This seems to be a pattern with his numbers that they fluctuate. Right after surgery Harrison's bilirubin was 7 and 48hrs after surgery it was 9 and liver enzymes were way down. Now, it should be mentioned that Harrison was on the bypass machine which also cleanses the blood and could explain the lower numbers. The heart surgeon is very interested in seeing if this surgery does help his liver function which is what the article I showed them said happened for that baby, but as you can see by the 2nd day post op numbers,they are rising which is not a good sign. Today, Harrison looks very jaundiced again, so it still tells me that it is not functioning well. His urine is very dark which also shows poor liver function. But at one point, Harrison's g-tube drain had yellow colored secretions which is a first for him. That means that there is some bile flow but it appears that it is not constant. Please pray for Harrison in this. He needs good bile flow in order to prolong a future liver transplant along with the complications of liver failure which can also take his life.

Heart- Before Heart surgery, Harrison had to always be on nasal cannulas to help with oxygen. If he cried he turned a nice shade of deep blue or purple and his oxygen levels dropped immediately to alarming levels. He also hardly cried for long periods of time because it was so tiring and it made the mere act of eating by mouth exhausting. After heart surgery and removal of breathing tube, Harrison cried, or I should say squeaked for a least 20 mins and remained pink the entire time. He has never had these high levels of oxygen and it is amazing to see the difference. Harrison had 3 repairs to his heart and all were a success and totally repaired according to the surgeon.An echocardiogram done following surgery did show that his right ventricle is not squeezing like they would like to see, but this is also the side that has not had to work as hard due to the defect. As with any surgery, there can always be complications. Harrison had some colored mucous when on the ventilator which made them suspect lung infection. Tests were done and today they revealed that it was bacteria that was normally found in esophagus and lungs which is good. He still has a very wet cough and due to his being sore from surgery he doesn't want to cough hard enough to get it out and it can affect his oxygen. Please pray that Harrison will continue to make progress in his healing from the surgery and his lungs will fully recover.

Praise- Praise for a successful surgery and minimal time on the bypass machine. Praise for skilled doctors and nurses who are able to care and treat Harrison. Praise for the miracle of his life.

Prayer- Pray that Harrison will continue to make great strides in this recovery process. Pray for his feeding to be successful because according to those in the medical field, cardiac babies tend to have difficulties feeding after surgery. Pray for Harrison's liver to thrive now that it has a repaired heart to supply it with new blood and more oxygen. Pray for Harrison's heart that it will only grow stronger with time.

A little side note: Harrison has now been in the hospital for 11 weeks which is just shy of 3 months. Since this time, he has been moved to different areas in the NICU and has had many "neighbors" who are also there fighting for his/her own life. In every pod that Harrison has been in, he has had a neighbor that has lost his/her life. Having spent so much time in the NICU you come to know the families that are there and it is heartbreaking to see and hear when their little one did not make it. I share this with you not to bring sadness or gloom, but to help point out the miracle that life really is. I feel so blessed for each day that I wake up and my son is still here. I also share this to show all those prayer warriors out there, that when you pray for Harrison, he has truly been blessed with the gift of life and we should remember to praise God and give him the glory for all the ways in which he has blessed Harrison's life.


  1. Lisa, as tears roll down my face, I can't tell you enough how happy I am when I read your post. I know Harrison is not 100% but he has been blessed and he is a fighter and he WILL get through this and one day soon you'll be video taping him walking and playing.

    God is good. Know that you and your family are always in my thoughts.

    God Bless.


  2. Lisa, I'm reading this with such memories and wish you and Harrison all the best. You sound like an incredibly competent and knowledgeable mom. From Laurie, Miranda's mom (I sent you an email through facebook re BA/TAPVD).

  3. Thank you so much for leading me to your blog. I was amazed just to read how God is giving you strength through all of this. I know that God is using Harrison, Jamie and you to reach others for His kingdom. My prayers are with you all. Harrison is such a cutie.